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Alcohol drinking problem – what to do if you suspect someone is an alcoholic.

When someone is suffering from alcoholism, also known as alcohol addiction, or an alcoholic, they are struggling with a disease that makes them dependent on alcohol. Their drinking behavior is marked by obsession about alcohol and then compulsive drinking behavior. Alcoholism also has adverse affects on their behavior, as well as work performance and social interactions.

Alcohol addiction produces withdrawal symptoms when the intake is stopped or greatly reduced. An alcoholic’s dependency can become uncontrollable; in fact a common sign of addiction is the loss of control.

If you or someone you love is an alcoholic, you know that there is more to alcoholism than the textbook definition. Many families and friends are affected daily by this illness. In the United States, 1 out of 3 people know someone who suffers from alcohol addiction.

If you notice someone either has an alcohol addiction or is on their way to developing an alcohol addiction, there are several things you can do.

1. Talk to the person. Speak calmly and clearly; it’s best if you do not try to talk to someone when he or she is intoxicated. Let this person know how much you care about them and about what he or she is going through. Alcoholics are usually victims of a life changing event, crime, or some sort of violent or traumatic experience. Let the person know that he or she can talk to you and depend on you to be there.

2. Address the problem. Express your concerns with the issue at hand. The two of you can work together to develop strategies and alternatives to dealing with the problem. If the first two steps do not seem productive, speaking with another family member may prove to be more beneficial.

3. Gather and compile information. You cannot help someone in this situation without knowing and understanding exactly what it is the individual is going through. Consult a specialist who can assist you more effectively with choosing the best care, and also give you the most practical advice on dealing with a person who suffers from alcohol addiction.

Most importantly, always follow through. Do not attempt to help someone if you cannot truly dedicate yourself for the long run. Simply tell someone who can. Alcoholism is an illness and the only way to eliminate an illness is to treat it.

One of the first challenges in getting help for yourself or a loved one, is knowing where to start. We can help with a free assessment and someone to talk with right now.

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